Girls got more top grades with 46.9 per cent receiving A* or A grades, compared to 42.1 per cent of boys.
The results follow a second year of teacher-assessed results, after exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students were assessed only on what they had been taught and were assessed on multiple pieces of work, giving them their best possible chance to show what they can do.
There was also a quality assurance process in place, with all grades being checked by schools – and one in five schools having a sample of their grades checked by exam boards – helping to give students, parents, colleges, universities and employers confidence in grades.
Speaking on A-Level Results Day, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “Students have worked very hard in what has been an extraordinary and challenging year, and each and every one of them should feel incredibly proud of their achievements.”
“We should all celebrate their resilience and ability to overcome adversity.”
“Teachers and staff have ensured that, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, all students are able to get grades this year and so can take their next steps and make their choices about further study or entering the workplace.”
“I am hugely grateful to teachers and also parents for supporting our young people in progressing to the next stage in their lives with confidence.”